Social Media in the “Real World”

For this post, I asked a few questions of the new Digital Media Specialist at the Georgia Aquarium (and also one of my friends)! I met Maureen when we both worked as Event Attendants at The Classic Center in Athens, Ga.  She graduated last May from UGA with a public relations major, which gives me high hopes for future jobs for other recent PR grads! Although she has only been a part of the Georgia Aquarium team for about three weeks, I have probably already told her 30 times that I am super jealous of her new position!

So what does a Digital Media Specialist at the Georgia Aquarium do? You may ask, as I did.

A picture I took at the Georgia Aquarium a couple years ago.

Maureen helps assist with digital media content for both the Georgia Aquarium and the Marineland Dolphin Adventures.  She monitors and updates social media content including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  If you follow the Aquarium on Twitter, the next tweet you see may have been from Maureen! She also replies to comments and questions on social media.  She said “Negative comments are usually the ones that reflect PR the most, because I then have to go in and fix a complaint or issue that the person has. It’s almost a little bit of crisis management every day because I have to give a quick response.”

She also assists with the internal and external newsletters, which includes working with other departments to acquire information.  She said:

“Working with the other departments is key in the job because we all work as a team. In order for our communications content to be correct, we have to get it approved by the Zoological Operations team. We also work with them closely when media come to visit. I enjoy corresponding with all of the different departments because they are all unique and it is fun to all work for the same goal.”

Maureen also helped in the creation of the aquarium’s new blog and will assist in content.  She is really excited about this because this will include doing behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with staff that she says will be interesting and engaging.

Maureen’s Advice: “Don’t worry about GPA – Get as much real-world experience as you can in areas that interest you. In other words, be well-rounded. I would not have gotten this position if I had not had real-world experience in both PR and digital media. Because I had a well-rounded resume, I think I was able to stand out a little. Also, you don’t always have to have the most internships to get hired somewhere. The key is to just get experience somewhere. If something interests you, do it on your own. For example, start a blog, freelance, or work with the community. All of this shows you are passionate and a go-getter. “

So I hope all of you almost-graduates and recent graduates take Maureen’s advice and get yourself out there to gain knowledge and experience!

If you don’t already keep up with the Georgia Aquarium, find them on Facebook, Twitter and the blog! (It could be Maureen updating you or answering your questions!)


Pin, Pin, Pinning Education


Teachers seem to be using social media more and more in their lectures for college classes.  In my undergrad, we did not use social media.  Now, being in graduate school, we use social media in almost every class, however, I am sure I have a skewed view since I am in a communications program.  (One of my classes is, in fact, titled Social Media!)

Pinterest is a place to share ideas.  Teachers can find many tips and ideas, but can Pinterest also be used DURING class?  Some teachers are finding ways to do this.

In my social media class, my group presented  the book “Groundswell” using Pinterest.  Although I unfortunately had to miss the actual presentation, I know we had fun creating pinboards to use during our presentation. I think the class may have enjoyed the use of Pinterest because it is different than just standing there giving a lecture and even different than just using powerpoint.

A professor in Minnesota uses Pintereset in her basic graphics class. They aren’t necessarily graded on their use of the site, but they are able to put their ideas that they draw inspiration from for projects in the class.  They are also able to connect with the professor to see the types of things she likes as well.  Read more here.

For classes in communications, arts, and education Pinterest is a great way for students to connect with each other and save information.  Almost any type of subject can use Pinterest in an educating way for students to learn new information and share with others as well.

Pinterest could be a next great teaching tool!

Police Using Social Media to Stop “Project X” Parties

In this social media world, news travels quickly.  If someone wants to have a party, other people are going to invite even more people and those people will invite more and so on.  The recent movie called “Project X” has inspired many teens to have a similar type of wild, out-of-control party with underage drinking at places such as old warehouses and vacant houses.  The movie depicts high school aged teens having a party that spins out of control because so many people heard about it and showed up.  I have not actually seen this movie, but the commercials show enough that you can see what happens.

There have been many parties in the U.S. that kids say were inspired by this film.  One incident involved a young teen getting shot and killed by another party go-er while police attempted to shut down the party.  Other teens were also injured.

Other parties across the country have ended with multiple arrests.

However, in New York, the police used social media to stop a “Project X” inspired party before it happened.  The police stopped a St. Patrick’s Day party that spread rapidly over social media for a party at an abandoned warehouse which could have brought around 4,000 teens.  The teens who created it called it “Project New York”, clearly mimicking “Project X”.

Social media has made it easier to spread this information quickly and to many people.  However, not only teens can see this information although they may think that is the case.  The spread of this information has made it easier for police and parents to find out as well. The police heard about the party from a concerned parent and used Facebook and Twitter to confirm the site/day/time.

Police then used social media to alert parents and let the teens know that the police knew.  The police stopped the party from happening at all because of social media.  I think it is great that police have this to their advantage.  So, is there a possibility that police couldn’t have found this information? I definitely don’t think so.  No matter how private the teens were trying to keep this, so many teens were involved.  Even if most teens had their Facebook and Twitter set to private, some kids make themselves so publicly visible that the information would have leaked out.  Nothing is really that private anymore, but in this case, might be a good thing.  Who knows, maybe if this certain party did happen, someone might have been injured or killed.  So, the police could have saved someone’s life.  Read more here.

Do you think the police should use social media to their advantage? Do you think police should be able to use people’s Facebook/Twitter/other media when investigating crimes? Does it matter if someone’s information is set to “private”?

“The Buried Life” helps to #SaveRichard

Social media can be a great way to rally around a good cause.  It can be on a huge scale like the Kony 2012 campaign or even down to one individual person.  Richard Bland, who I do not know personally, is a student at Kennesaw State University who has a failing kidney.  He is in dire need of a kidney transplant but has a rare blood type.  His friends at KSU have rallied behind him and have gotten a lot of attention through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

They created the #SaveRichard hash tag on Twitter and also started a Facebook page.  With so many people tweeting and writing on Facebook, it wasn’t long until it blew up on these social media outlets.  It wasn’t long until traditional media outlets begin talking about him as well.  Check out this article.

They began tweeting the cast from “The Buried Life”, a show on MTV.  The cast actually went to KSU earlier this week and had a rally for Richard.  They are trying to raise awareness in hopes that someone with his rare blood type will do a live transplant.  The cast of “The Buried Life” also started donations for Richard.  It is amazing how people really listen and the cast really understood how important it was for them to be at KSU to support Richard.

It is really neat how one individual can get so much support through social media.  Let’s hope Richard can find a generous and loving person who will give him their kidney!

You can email if you would like to donate a kidney to Richard or for more information.

You should also tweet about it using the hash tag #SaveRichard!!!

Here is a picture of Richard with the cast.

Questioning the Kony 2012 Campaign

So, I am just going to do it….and post about Kony 2012.  I will say though, I am probably not the best one to be posting about it, because I don’t know too much.

I watched the video that has been incessantly posted on Facebook by my friends. If you haven’t watched it, if you want, take the 30 minutes to watch it here now. I was definitely getting annoyed by how many people kept posting about it on Facebook….just about every few posts…..someone was talking about Kony 2012.

After pushing it aside a hundred times, I finally took the half hour to watch it.  Then….I did some research and found that there are a lot of people for this and against as well.  On my Facebook, there are more people who post in favor of, however there have been a few against.  The reason is because the organization behind it is Invisible Children and there are people questioning their finances.  Every organization cannot spend 100% of donations to a cause because they need money going back in support of the organization itself.  Check out this article that really questions where the organization’s finances are going.

Once again, I am putting it out there that I don’t know that much information about this.  What I really want to know is how you feel about this whole Kony 2012 campaign. Clearly I know you will want the LRA to end…..but I want to know your opinion on Invisible Children and their involvement including the documentary.  Give me your knowledge J

Hiring Policies

Personal social media sites have brought with them the issue of whether or not a company should take those sites into consideration when hiring.  My fiancé went on a business trip to Arizona recently.  The associates at the office there took him out afterwards for dinner and drinks.  Included in this group was the HR woman.  She told Matt, my fiancé, about a tough decision she had made earlier in the week.
There were two potential employees she interviewed who were both well qualified.  She thought the woman would make a better fit for the company because of her past experiences and her personality.  The man she interviewed had similar experiences but just did not click with the HR woman.  However, the HR woman looked for their Facebook pages.  She found the man’s and searched through all of his information and found no pictures with alcohol or partying.  The woman’s Facebook was private, but she found her boyfriend’s Facebook was not.  So, the HR woman went through the applicant’s boyfriend’s Facebook to look at pictures!!! What she found was not really all that terrible according to Matt.  She saw pictures of the woman drinking on the beach.
So, the HR woman did not like seeing those pictures.  Even though she thought the woman would be the better fit for the company, she chose the man.  She told Matt that if it weren’t for the Facebook pages, she would have chosen the woman.
No, I didn’t get to see the pictures…..
Moral of the story is no matter whether you think it is right or wrong, your Facebook profile (or any other social media) can affect whether you are unemployed or not!
Some companies may require applicants to friend them on Facebook.  I am not quite sure whether I agree with this or not.  I do think that it shows the person’s true colors better, but it doesn’t mean that their personal and work life is one in the same.  At my last job there were certain people that I friended on Facebook and some that I chose not to, including my boss.  I wish I would have asked if they saw my facebook before they hired me out of curiosity.
However, I recently read an article about how some companies want someone’s password to their social media sites before they hire them! I definitely don’t agree with this! Read more here.
Do you think companies should look at your social media sites before they hire you?  Does it make a difference if your sites a private or public? (I think it is definitely ok for a company to look at your Facebook if it is public…..but what about how the HR woman in Arizona looked at her boyfriend’s pictures?) What are your opinions about companies asking for passwords?

The Hunger Games on Social Media

I am not afraid to say I LOVE the hunger games trilogy! The books were SO incredibly good and yes, I already bought my ticket for the movie.  Granted I am not going to the midnight premier, but I am going the next day to see it at an IMAX theater.  I am super excited!!!

I bought the tickets through the official Hunger Games Facebook page.  This led me to other social media about the Hunger Games. (Just to clarify, I was just looking at all of this because I thought it was interesting….I do love the books and want to see the movie, however I will not be walking around with a t-shirt with the main characters’ faces on them….)

First of all, their Facebook presence is massive.  There is a Facebook page for the book trilogy, the movie, as well as 13 other pages for each district in Panem (the apocalyptic future United States).

The movie page has over 2.3 million “likes”.

District 12 (the one the main characters are from) – 69,000 “likes”

The Capital – 98,000 “likes”

All the rest have between 27,500 and 33,700 “likes”

That is a whole lot of people that Facebook is reaching (knowing many people “like” more than one, or even all, the pages).  The pages are very interactive, with real people as mayors.  You can also get your own ID card. Here’s mine: (haha)

They also teamed up with the World Food Programme and Feeding America with a tab to donate through the Facebook page, which is a wonderful idea.

Not only are there so many things to look at/do/read on the Facebook pages, they also are utilizing Twitter to get fans excited.  Recently, they have been getting fans to tweet using a hash tag specific to their city (#hungergames24atl) in order to determine where advanced screenings will be held.  The four cities with the most tweets will have the screenings.  As soon as those locations are determined, they will have contests for people to win tickets to them.  (No I did not tweet about it, but I will definitely try to win tickets if Atlanta is chosen!)

There are also iPad and iPhone games coming soon (which I don’t have, so unfortunately I won’t be able to play them).

There are still so many other outlets I have yet to discuss (like Fan of the Week, Capitol Couture, and polls) but I think this got the point across.

I applaud the use of social media to encourage excitement for the movie coming out in March.  Are there other, recent movies that have garnered this much (or more) attention on social media?

Social Media Polls

While on Pinterest today, I came across a few social media posters that were interesting.

This is an interesting poster because it shows what people think about Social Media privacy settings.

I thought it was a little ironic that more people say they have less control over their personal information today, compared to five years ago, but only 28% of people say they consider privacy is more important now.  Even though many people don’t trust social media sites, so many still use them and do not attempt to understand the privacy settings.  Why do you think this is?

This poster is about Pinterest specifically and the difference between users in the U.S. and the U.K.

What do you think it means that the users in the U.K. are wealthier than in the U.S.? Does this rely on that they are mostly male users and look at more business related information on the site?

What do you use Pinterest for?  I use it for just about everything listed on the U.S. list and am a female….

Tyler Perry and Stereotypes

I watched “Diary of Mad Black Woman” today and I could not help but notice all of the stereotypes present.  This is the first Tyler Perry movie I have ever seen so I did a little research and found that there is a lot of discussion about his films being stereotypical.  There were both racial stereotypes as well as sexist.  The woman was not happy in her marriage, but when her husband kicked her out, she literally said “What am I supposed to do without you”, hinting towards financial reasons.  She didn’t have a job, while he was sitting there all rich and pretty.
The racial stereotypes were also prevalent throughout the film including fried chicken after church, the highly spirited church choir, and all the black people in court.  The main factor is Madeas as a mammy-like character.  All of these movies are directed by a black man, but what if these same movies were directed by a white man, or a female?  Would these movies still make as much money?  Would people be more offended? For more information, read this.

Fans of Chris Brown Tweet About Domestic Violence

So, we all know Twitter goes crazy during important events like the Super Bowl and the Grammys.  This year, during the Super Bowl, many people tweeted about Madonna’s performance and M.I.A.’s unnecessary gesture.  This year during the Grammys, there were 2.1 million tweets using the hashtag #GRAMMYs.  At the peak, the hashtag was used up to 18,000 times per minute! Check out this interactive map of who was talked about and when!


While Adele was tweeted about the most (340,000 tweets), Chris Brown was not too far behind with 152,000 tweets.  While some people were tweeting about how awful he is for beating up his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, there were actually many girls tweeting about how they would love for Chris Brown to beat them up any day! I thought this was crazy! I don’t understand what these girls are thinking when they are basically saying domestic violence is ok.  The message they are giving to their followers is that they think it is ok for men to beat up women and this could be potentially dangerous for them personally.  Men that know these girls and follow them on Twitter might think it is ok to hurt them.

Here are some of the tweets:

Check out “25 Extremely Upsetting Reactions To Chris Brown At The Grammys” for more tweets.

Even though some of these women may have been “joking”, they need to understand the message they are sending is wrong.